Irish public realm conference

Treacy's, Youghal

The quality of our historic towns and cities is something that matters, and with its strategic responsibility for developing tourism in the Northwest, the NWDA is committed to making the most of the region's unique heritage.

Historic towns and cities are valuable for many reasons, yet we often take for granted the wealth of history that is accumulated in our urban areas. For many of our overseas visitors, the heritage of our country is a key reason for coming here. Yet many of us would acknowledge that compared to other countries, particularly our near European neighbours, many of our historic towns and cities often offer lower quality, are somehow less distinctive and special, and seem less cherished. This matters for many reasons; including the impact it has on our ability to attract visitors and to create economic success from doing so.

The NWDA is developing a place comparison methodology that will help those responsible for our towns and cities to better understand how they compare with other places in this country and in Europe. The Agency is also investing in research to better understand what visitors want from the destinations they choose. We are working on pilot projects including Chester Renaissance with the goal of raising ambition, improving quality and enhancing the distinctiveness and appeal of our destinations.

Phil Reddy, Head of Tourims Strategy, Northwest Regional Development Agency